• Jim Burns is in the business of saving lives. His storm shelters have prevented loss of life when the worst severe weather strikes. | Burleson Star/RICKY MOORE

Man's business is saving lives

When Jim Burns began building custom homes 29 years ago he also sold some homebuyers insurance of a sort.

Burns, who has lived in Burleson for 23 years, sold those interested in protecting their family from a ravaging tornado storm shelters that he would add to the construction of the home.

Considering Johnson County lives in the middle of “Tornado Alley,” Burns selling point was a simple one – Don’t wait till it’s too late to protect your life and your family.

“All you are doing when you buy a storm shelter is purchasing a different type of insurance,” Burns said. “A storm shelter doesn’t pay you money if something bad happens, instead if something bad happens it pays you with your life.”

While some might see the purchase of a storm shelter as a luxury, Burns would need to take off his shoes to count the numbers of times someone who bought one of his storm shelters called or thanked him in person because the 4x6-foot addition to their home saved their family.

According the texasalmanac.com, Texas averages 132 tornadoes each year. Which means that even when it comes to tornadoes 'Everything is bigger in Texas.'

The North Texas area is a hotbed for tornadoes, with more touching down here than any other part of the state.

The tornadoes that ripped through Rowlett on Dec. 27, 2015, caused an estimated 1.2 billion dollars in damage. Most of that damage can be repaired or is covered by insurance.

But the 11 lives lost in the storm can’t be recovered.

That’s where Burns company, Storm Shelter Manufacturing, can help. The local company builds and installs steel storm shelters.

“A major advantage in having a storm shelter is that it saves lives,” Burns said.

Burns’ storm shelter business is a division of Jim’s Custom Homes.

Recently Burns, who is retired from the corps of engineers, also retired from his custom homes operation and started manufacturing storm shelters to help protect families from deadly tornadoes and straight line winds.

A tested steel heavy duty storm shelter is some of the best insurance that can be purchased, because a storm shelter that has been FEMA tested protects your family and pets by stopping and blocking nails, protruding pieces of steel or other products. Pieces of all types of wood, even pencils, can kill due to high winds.

Not only can tornadoes strike with ferocity, they can also appear suddenly with little or no warning. A tested storm shelter could make the difference for your family as tornadoes can kill in just minutes. Many of the most deadly tornadoes were only in the kill zone for three to five minutes.

Burn’s storm shelters are made of steel and anchored to concrete. They are tested to withstand pressure of 6,000 PSI, thanks to their concrete base. The concrete laid for most houses is tested to 4,000 PSI.

All of the storm shelters are tested by FEMA, and rated to withstand F-5 tornado strength winds, flying debris and structural destruction. While serving with the corps of engineers, Burns became certified and trained in the production of storm shelters that have the federal government's seal of approval.

If you move or your house is lost to a tornado, the shelter can be moved to a new home. Burns tells of a man in Oklahoma who bought one of his storm shelters. After the man’s family was saved by using the storm shelter, he had the shelter moved to his son’s house and installed there. Then when the man rebuilt his home, he purchased a new storm shelter for installation.

Burns' company has vast knowledge in the manufacture of storm shelters and doomsday bunkers. The company serves Burleson, Joshua, Alvarado, Cleburne, Crowley, Fort Worth, Arlington and many DFW Metroplex areas.

To learn more about Burns' storm shelters click here.

Burleson Star

327 N.W. Renfro St.
PO Box 909
Burleson, TX 76028-0909

Phone: 817-295-0486
FAX: 817-295-5278



Jim Burns is in the business of saving lives. His storm shelters have prevented loss of life when the worst severe weather strikes. | Burleson Star/RICKY MOORE